Dry skin is a common condition that plagues many people at some time in their life. Indeed, it is estimated that, at any given time, 25% of people suffer from dry skin to a lesser or greater extent. If you currently belong to that 25% you will want to know which moisturiser can help alleviate your condition the best.
Do not be mislead into thinking that different moisturising brands generally have similar ingredients and similar properties. They do not. So, which is best for you?
Moisturisers differ a great deal from brand to brand, and for sound reasons. It is impossible to manufacture a moisturising product that is equally beneficial for all situations and all skin types. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to skin care.
People come in all shapes, sizes and ethnic origin. What is considered to be an ideal moisturising product for one person will sometimes be completely unsuitable for another person.
Also, everybody has their own unique circumstances.
Modes of employment will differ from person to person. One person employed in an industrial factory with dusty, dry air will have greatly different skin moisturising requirements to another person who sees most of their working day surrounded by plants in the great outdoors.
The weather plays an important part in any skin care routine as well. Some products will perform better in warm, dry summer conditions whilst other protect best when face with the wet and cold of winter.
When looking to buy a moisturising product you should realise that they are basically divided into 3 groupings. Namely, creams, lotions and the newer innovation of the mousse based products. So what are the characteristics of these three main groupings?
Creams are usually petroleum jelly based.
The father, metaphorically speaking, of petroleum jelly, or Vaseline as it more commonly known, is the dregs of the oil industry. It derives directly from “rod wax”, a sticky waste product that has a tendency to collect around the head of the pump rods in traditional oil wells. This rod wax is the basis of a barrier cream that was originally patented by chemist Robert Chesebrough in 1872. The name Vaseline was used because, during his experimentation with rod wax, Robert Chesebrough use to store the various formulations in common household vases. Hence “vase – line” – “elaion” being the Greek word for oil.
It is this petroleum jelly that is responsible for the majority of moisturising creams being heavy and greasy. Whilst providing a thick coating for your skin, creams may be unsuitable, especially on the hands, as they can leave your skin slippery. Heavy cream products may also clog up the skin pores. This makes them particularly unsuitable to use on the face if you have an acne condition. Heavy creams used on the hands can also prove to be problematic if your occupation necessitates wearing gloves for prolonged periods.
Thick and greasy moisturising creams are often thought to be more suited to winter use when dry skin can be a major concern.
Lotions, by and large, use far less petroleum jelly or none at all. For this reason they are generally not so heavy as creams and tend to spread more easier and are therefore easier to apply. Apart from water, their main ingredient will usually be an oil such as Sunflower or Olive oil. Indeed, the use of Olive oil by civilised societies dates back at least 5,000 years. It was widely used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for a variety of purposes.
However, after applying skin lotions to an area of your body, a stickiness may well persist. The high oil ingredient also leaves some people with a “less than clean” feeling. The relatively high oil content can also be problematical for people already blessed with a naturally oily skin.
Thus, moisturising lotions are widely thought to be more appropriate for use during the warmer times of the year.
Mousse formulations are a relatively new development in the area of skin moisturisers. Many believe that mousse products will eventually supercede traditional creams and lotions. Certainly, a mousse product will be naturally very light and easy to apply. Consequently, a mousse based product smooths more evenly across the epidermis. For this reason, much less is needed per application. Mousse moisturisers also have less tendency to clog up your skin pores and thus allow your skin to perspire normally. People with dry skin, or skin that is sore or chapped may also find that a mousse is less painful to apply as it does not need vigorous rubbing in.
However, most mousses will be aerosol based which has traditionally been linked to ozone destroying CFC chemicals – although this ceased to be the case with widespread legislation that was enacted 10 years or more ago. Further, aerosols will most likely use Butane and this has a history of being associated with teenage substance abuse.
Mousse moisturising formulations have been found to be suitable for all year use.
Whatever your choice of moisturiser, remember to apply it regularly and consistently. Your skin will love you for it.